Seller who is Real Estate Agent: Obligations to Disclose

(Ontario)

Question:

Doing a deal where the agent is also the Seller. She disclosed UFFI and knob and tube but only in the hallway and said she had a previous offer with an agent who already completed a home inspection.

We did inspection which revealed knob and tube in the entire 2nd floor, vermiculite in the attic! It was not hidden. There’s no way another inspection didn’t reveal it and no way she didn’t know about it as owner?

 What was she obligated to disclose?

Answer

As a Seller she is only obligated to disclose material, hidden, latent defects which she knows about which would render the premises structurally unsound or unfit for human habitation. As a Listing agent she is obligated to follow her own instructions as a Seller. Disclose or not disclose!

Her duties don’t rise any higher than that. They are exactly the same as any other Seller.

However, there is an additional obligation to disclose any information which she would have which may affect the value. It’s entirely possible that these two matters could cross that threshold.

The task of discovery befalls the Buyer’s Agent who must investigate, determine, verify and disclose the material facts to their own Client, the Buyer. So, most of the onus is placed upon the Buyer’s Agent to find things out, usually through a home inspection.

It looks like most of the issues you have identified were easily found.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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